By JLP | May 31, 2006
We are all familiar with stories about shady salesmen selling people fee-ridden insurance products without fully disclosing the fees and penalties for getting out of the product if you decide it is not for you. As if these salesmen weren’t enough to worry about, there’s something else you need to be aware of:
Certain organizations play by different rules than everyone else in the insurance business. To understand what I’m talking about, you NEED TO READ this article that was in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The article DOES NOT speak to highly of such organizations Modern Woodmen of America and Thrivent, which provides financial products for Lutherans. Both organizations have agents who make commissions on product sales.
What I found appalling in this article is the fact that Trivent has changed their rules so that they CAN’T BE SUED by their policyholders. Instead, disgruntled policyholders must go through arbitration. On top of that, Thrivent can make changes that are retroactive so that even if you bought the policy years ago under different rules, the changes can affect your policy. My question is: how can an institution prevent someone from suing them?
Anyway, the point I think we should take from this article is that we should not ASSUME that a fraternal institution that has earned our trust is going to look out for our best interests! If you want to look into their products, fine. However, get everything in writing and then get a second opinion.